Montana Senator Steve Daines announced on Wednesday that the company behind the Keystone XL Pipeline, Calgary TC Energy, was forced to officially pull the plug on the project, and he placed the blame directly on President Joe Biden, who cancelled the pipeline on his first day in office.

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This week, Daines questioned Tracy Stone-Manning, Biden’s choice to head the Bureau of Land Management on several topics, including the Keystone Pipeline.

“The President has made his decision on the Keystone pipeline and I am not and should not second guess him on that,” said Stone-Manning.

“So you're still opposed to it, though. You were opposed before, and you’re opposed to it now,” asked Daines.

“Senator, again, I'm not going to second guess the President,” she said.

“I was asking about you, though,” repeated Daines. “You opposed it before. Do you still oppose it now?”

“Senator, I served on a board of an organization as a volunteer and like many organizations, they do many things. Sometimes board members agree sometimes they don't.”

When asked about the proposed Rock Creek Mine near the Smith River, Daines also challenged Stone-Manning on her past comments, saying the mine was ‘philosophically abhorrent’.

“Do you still think it's philosophically abhorrent? Your words,” said Daines. “Have you talked to the folks up in Sanders County and Lincoln County about that?”

“Senator, I've spent long conversations with folks on the ground,” said Stone-Manning. “I had many conversations. I remember talking about getting schoolbooks to school kids. And we have a job to do as Montanans to create good paying family wage jobs that come from development that is going to take care of our environment. And at the time that I said that I was concerned about some of the hydrological studies and what it would do to the lakes and the wilderness.”

“And, have you changed your opinion on that?” he asked.

Stone-Manning replied, “I haven't seen the recent studies. It's been years.”

Tracy Stone-Manning is a Senior Advisor at the National Wildlife Federation based in Montana, and former Chief of Staff to Governor Steve Bullock. She previously served as a senior aide to Senator Tester.

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